The Rhubarb Show
The Fitzgerald Theater
Saint Paul, MN«archive page
Garrison Keillor was born in Anoka, graduated from the University of Minnesota ('66), and lives in St. Paul. He is the author of numerous books, including Pilgrims: A Wobegon Romance and O, What A Luxury: Verses Lyrical, Vulgar, Pathetic & Profound (Grove Press), and the editor of several anthologies of poetry, including Good Poems: American Places (Viking).
Nashville-based Dan Penn is a recent inductee into the Alabama Hall of Fame — and with good reason: he helped shape the development of Southern soul music. The first chart-topping song penned by this Vernon, Alabama, native was Conway Twitty's 1960 hit "Is a Bluebird Blue?" He would go on to co-write classics such as "Do Right Woman," "I'm Your Puppet," and "Dark End of the Street." Among his own albums is The Fame Recordings (Ace Records), a compilation album from 2012. Keyboard wizard Bobby Emmons — whose songwriting credits include the Waylon Jennings hit "Luckenbach, Texas" — joins Dan for this performance.
Molly Maher and Her Band of Disbelievers
St. Paul-based singer-songwriter Molly Maher got hooked on roots music when her brother introduced her to the blues of Willie Dixon, Howlin' Wolf, Muddy Waters, and John Lee Hooker. For a while, she lived "off the grid" in the Oregon high desert, but these days, she is a fixture on the Twin Cities music scene, well known from a five-year residency at Nye's Polonaise Room, as well as her ongoing involvement in the monthly Real-Phonic Radio Hour, broadcast from the historic James J. Hill Library. Her 2011 CD is called Merry Come Up (Real-Phonic Records). Her Band of Disbelievers: Erik Koskinen (guitar), Paul Bergen (guitar), Frankie Lee (bass), and JT Bates (drums).
Sound effects man Fred Newman is an actor, writer, musician, and sound designer for film and TV. This Harvard Business School grad is author of the book (and CD) MouthSounds. Fred admits that, growing up in small-town Georgia, he was unceremoniously removed from several classrooms, "once by my bottom lip."
Magician, comedian, emcee (and more) Bill Arnold is known to many folks in the Twin Cities (and elsewhere) as the co-writer and co-star of Triple Espresso, which opened in Minneapolis in the mid-1990s. During his 17-year run in that show, he played to more than 2 million people in 50 cities and six countries. These days, Bill is busy doing standup comedy at corporate events and serving as an emcee at fundraisers and other gatherings.
Organist Karl Eilers knows his way around the Mighty Wurlitzer, and theatergoers at the Heights Theatre — in the Minneapolis suburb of Columbia Heights — frequently get to hear him play the instrument there. He is a member of the Land O' Lakes chapter of the American Theatre Organ Society (ATOS), which has more than 4.000 members worldwide. Along with volunteers from ATOS, Karl accomplished the intricate restoration of the Heights Theatre Wurlitzer.
Lovingly selected from the earliest archives of A Prairie Home Companion, this heirloom collection represents the music from earliest years of the now legendary show: 1974–1976. With songs and tunes from jazz pianist Butch Thompson, mandolin maestro Peter Ostroushko, Dakota Dave Hull and the first house band, The Powdermilk Biscuit Band (Adam Granger, Bob Douglas and Mary DuShane).